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Thread: Shapeways WSF delays ? Maybe 6 months...

  1. #1

    Default Shapeways WSF delays ? Maybe 6 months...

    The factory that produces the primary ingredient for the entire global supply of nylon 3D-printing powder is out of commission.

    On March 31st, an explosion at a manufacturing plant (Evonik Industries) in Marl, Germany killed two workers and took 130 firefighters ~15 hours to bring under control. The plant was severely damage and will be out of commission for approximately three months. This one plant produces nearly half of the global supply of PA12, the primary ingredient of PA2200, the polyamide (nylon) laser-sintering powder. The Evonik plant had been the single source for all nylon sintering powder production worldwide. This material is known as “White, Strong and Flexible” on Shapeways, and is one of their least expensive and highest selling materials. That could change as a result of this disruption. A leading supplier of sintering powders, ALM has stopped accepting new orders for this material and is suggesting alternatives. ALM has stated that they will be producing only with existing stock until the plant is back in operation. The effects of the disruption are predicted to last six to nine months.

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    Ouch, maybe a silly question, forgive me if it is, is it only WSF affected or any coloured SF too ?

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    That is bad news indeed. I hope that as the bulletin suggests it is only WSF powder that is effected and that production in other media will not be cancelled. This is how businesses can easily go bust through no fault of their own, when they depend on other suppliers who cannot meet their comittments for one reason or another.

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    What can one say?

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    The hobby side of things does seam irrelevant when two workers were killed.

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    There are three other manufacturers, one each in France, Switzerland, and Japan. So there may be no delay at all. Shapeways hasn't said anything about it, and they may have a long-term contract.

  8. #8

    Dom S's Avatar
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    Possibly right - the initial reaction to this in the auto industry seems to have been "oh ****" and I'd expect them to get priority on it over someone like Shapeways, but that was 3 months ago now, and we're still not seeing any supply problems, which would suggest the industry found a way of getting by. If there were going to be supply problems, bearing in mind that Shapeways is European, and therefore wouldn't have a bunch of supplies in the shipping pipeline, I'd have expected them to have already materialised by now. So fingers crossed....

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    Just had my latest batch printed, and it's on its way after a 24 hr delay. It took a bit longer to print than usual, but no great drama.

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    That's good news Zoe.
    It was probably just another knee jerk reaction from us all. We have had so many disappointments over the lasy year or so that I guess we are all getting a bit jittery.

  11. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe Brain View Post
    Just had my latest batch printed, and it's on its way after a 24 hr delay. It took a bit longer to print than usual, but no great drama.
    I'm sure the 24 hour delay was purely down to more stringent QA checks... (why don't we have a 'tongue in cheek' icon)


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